Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

Puerto Rico Schools Seek Emotional Healing for Students, Teachers
Hurricane Maria has taken people away from Yzmar Roman. The 16-year-old Puerto Rican high school student’s two best friends moved to the U.S. mainland in the wake of last September’s devastating storm, one to Florida and the other to Tennessee. Her father, a policeman, has been working long hours since Hurricane Maria and doesn’t have much time to learn about her day when he’s home. And her mother’s job as a bank teller also means she’s busy. Yzmar tries to lean on the friends she has, but she hears about their daily struggles since the storm and knows they have their own burdens. (Education Week)

What It’s Like to Be a Black Woman Running a Charter School That’s Closing the Achievement Gap
Ramona Wilder comes from a long line of educators dating back to the 1800s when her great, great grandfather had old school church houses where they taught African Americans to read and write during slavery. In continuing her family’s legacy, as a fifth-generation Wilder, she became the leader of Wilder’s Preparatory Academy Charter School, which was founded in 2003 by her parents, the late Mr. Raymond D. Wilder and Dr. Carolyn R. Wilder. In 2017, Wilder’s Prep was awarded the Southern California Charter School of the Year Award, named the number one school in California for closing the achievement gap for African-American students and was also highlighted as one of Roland Martin’s School Choice All-Stars. (Education Post)

10-Year-Old Flint, Michigan, Girl Took 800 High-Needs Kids to See Black Panther. Now, She’s Their Hero, Too
Little Miss Flint has done it again. Ten-year-old Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny, the onetime pageant winner who enthralled the country in 2016 by inspiring President Barack Obama to visit her hometown of Flint, Michigan, during the city’s ongoing water crisis, took hundreds of kids to the movies for a free screening of the hottest movie in the nation right now: Black Panther. (The 74)

Mark Zuckerberg’s charity is giving $30 million to help kids learn to read—and love it
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a big advocate of personalized learning—using technology to tailor learning to kids’ interests, abilities and pace of work. Now his philanthropic investment company is funding a major initiative to help struggling readers by applying personalized learning to children’s literacy. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), which Zuckerberg co-founded with his wife Priscilla Chan, is giving a $30 million grant to the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Integrated Learning Initiative to launch Reach Every Reader. The program is a five-year initiative to build a web-based screening tool that diagnoses reading problems before kids can even read, and to develop a set of home and school interventions that personalize literacy support for kids, parents, and teachers. (Quartz)

Blog: Congress: We must invest in students of color
As Congress contemplates reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, or HEA, lawmakers need to ensure that a quality college education is within reach of students of color. Tangled up in legitimate concerns about the rising cost of college and student loan debt is the question of whether a college education is truly “worth it.” But the evidence is quite clear: A high-quality college degree is the surest path to the American middle class. In the wake of 2008’s Great Recession, 2.8 million out of 2.9 million new jobs with good benefits, including retirement accounts, health insurance, and vacation days created between 2010 and 2014, went to college graduates. (The Hill)

Five file for two seats on Christina school board
Five people have filed to run for the Christina School District Board of Education, setting up contested races for the two open seats. Incumbent Fred Polaski will face off against Rich Jester, a data scientist for JPMorgan Chase, and teacher V.J. Leonard in the District C race. In District E, two University of Delaware employees, Christy Mannering and Keeley Powell, will battle for the seat formerly held by Harrie Ellen Minnehan. (Newark Post)

Florida House passes gun reform, school safety bill after lengthy debate
The Republican-led Florida House passed a school safety package that includes an unprecedented tightening of gun control regulations on Wednesday. The close vote placed reluctant GOP legislators in a vice between browbeating chamber leadership and the powerful National Rifle Association. The 67-50 vote was also tough for House Democrats, who earlier in the day decided to take a caucus position against the bill because it would allow for armed educational personnel in schools. Of 76 House Republicans, 57 voted in favor of the bill, with 19 against it. Of the 41 House Democrats, 10 voted yes and 31 voted no. The provision played a major role in the legislation’s near defeat Monday night when the Florida Senate barely passed the bill. (Politico)

It’s Time To Prepare Our Students For A Future In Computer Science
Hawaii has a ways to go before every student has an equitable shot at advanced science, technology, engineering and math learning. James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach, students are solving real-world problems when they do their homework for Mr. Delos Reyes’ Advanced Placement Computer Science course. “This class lets your creativity fly,” said Redwan, a senior who’s partnered with two of his peers to design an app for the local nonprofit Kahi Mohala to help the HR team streamline its filing and paperwork for new hires, leaving more time for staff to deliver life-changing health and human services. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Hundreds of Baltimore students walk out of school, march to City Hall for gun safety
Hundreds of Baltimore students walked out of class Tuesday and marched to City Hall to protest school gun violence. Tuesday’s event in Baltimore brought together public and private schools from across the city, including the Friends School of Baltimore, Baltimore City College, Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Baltimore School for the Arts and the Roland Park Country School. Many students marched for miles, snaking through the city and chanting, “Guns down! Grades up!” (The Baltimore Sun)

Washington D.C.
‘I feel really bad for the Class of 2018’: D.C. students’ graduation may be imperiled
Kidist Deneke is supposed to be seated in her first-period class by 8:45 each morning. But most days, the Roosevelt High senior is dropping off her younger sister at school then, before catching a bus to her own school. She almost always arrives late, but it has never posed much of a problem — until now. Deneke is a member of the Class of 2018, which approaches its final three months of high school in the shadow of a graduation scandal that has rocked District schools. (The Washington Post)

Mimi Woldeyohannes is the Executive Assistant to the CEO at 50CAN. She lives in Maryland.


Recent Posts

More posts from Today in Education

See All Posts